Could Ronaldinho be a Reds loan ranger?
Sir Alex Ferguson loves to pull a rabbit out of the hat in the transfer market and two iconic figures could provide him with another potential for a mid-season masterstroke. In the 2007 January transfer window the United boss acted on impulse and an encouraging tip-off from his chief scout that Henrik Larsson might be tempted by a loan move to the Reds. United were in need of a winter pick-me-up and the legendary Swedish striker made the temporary switch from Helsingborg. Larsson scored on his debut to win an FA Cup third round tie against Aston Villa, scored as a sub in a 4-0 league win against Watford and bagged the winner against Lille in a Champions League last 16 second leg tie. Three goals in 13 appearances are the simple black and white stats of Larsson's impact. But his stamp on the dressing room lifted the Reds. Even established stalwart figures among the United camp were buoyed by his arrival. In his final match at Middlesbrough in the FA Cup, the Reds dressing room stood to a man to applaud the striker when he came off the field at the Riverside. It was a touching and spontaneous gesture that rubber-stamped Ferguson's masterstroke and it paid dividends as United went on from that mid-term fillip to win back the Premier League crown from Chelsea. With permanent big name imports unlikely this transfer window, may the United manager would be tempted to do a Larsson' again to bolster the table-topping Reds? Two stellar veterans certainly come into the Larsson category. Beckham David Beckham is one - having ruled out a loan move back to AC Milan from LA Galaxy. The former England captain and ex-Red fancies a move to the Premier League but continues to insist he would only ever play for United. However, the 35-year-old also says he is not holding his breath for an Old Trafford return after seven years. Beckham left under something of a cloud in 2003 for Real Madrid. United banked £25m as a result and searched for a new inspirational figure to replace the La-Liga bound midfielder. Brazilian Ronaldinho was identified by Sir Alex Ferguson as that extra special player to add a touch of Samba magic to the Reds qualities. The Reds boss watched Ronaldhino's final match for Paris St Germain in the French Cup final and throughout the summer began the process of nailing down his target. It included visits to Paris to talk to the PSG hierarchy. When Fergie boarded a trans-Atlantic flight to America in July '03 he did so believing the 23-year-old star was in the bag. By the time he landed he discovered, much to his annoyance, that Ronaldinho had signed for Barcelona. Allegedly, former Old Trafford chief executive Peter Kenyon had botched the transfer. In Ronaldinho's biography it was claimed that PSG believe he reneged on a deal that had been struck by attempting to offer less once Kenyon knew Barca wouldn't go beyond a certain price. When Kenyon and Fergie eventually met up in the US for the tour a frosty relationship was noted by the travelling media. Ronaldinho went on to twice become World Player of the Year at the Nou Camp. He is now out of favour at Milan and out of contract at the San Siro at the end of the season. His first club Gremio are attempting to lure him back to Brazil. He is said to be not playing or training well in Italy but a last hurrah on a big stage like Old Trafford might just be the platform to inspire him. A fit, focused and on-fire Ronaldinho on loan would certainly be an addition to the Reds stock that might inject some extra magic to a season that, seeing the Reds rise to the summit of the Premier League, has only seen them sparkle in patches. It is one of those quirky marriages that might just appeal to Fergie. Would you like to see United go for Ronaldinho? Have your say.
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